Evolving news on the science, writing and thinking about Near Death Experiences (NDEs)

Phase II of the AWARE study announced

There was me thinking I’d wasted an awful lot of time writing a book and creating a website that had its focus of interest on the AWARE study, which appeared to be completed following the recent publication of results, when in fact the fun has only just begun. Today I received an email from the Horizon Research Foundation, one of the organizations that provided funding for the original study (link to site at bottom of post), stating that phase II had begun in the UK. This is obviously very exciting news, not least because this website now has a reason to continue to exist! In all seriousness, Dr. Parnia had told me in our recent exchange that they were looking at various options. It will be interesting to see if he is still the lead investigator given that he is now based on Long Island, NY…I will endeavor to find out.

As I mentioned in my previous post, which describes the kind of barriers I suspect that they are up against, they will need to aim to include at least 10,000 Cardiac Arrests to have any chance of a scientifically validated OBE. This is due to the fact that not many survive, and of those that do, a significant proportion would be excluded from further analysis. To boost their chances of success they should focus on areas of the hospital which had the highest incidence of CA in the first AWARE study, and increase the number of targets in these areas.

Another consideration, if they didn’t do this in the original study, would be to introduce an element of “blinding” (a term used to describe techniques of research that insure that investigators and subjects are unaware of whether an active intervention is being administered or not). This could be achieved  by insuring that the post CA interviewers were unaware of the content of the pictures in the target areas.

Finally I would like to wish the AWARE study team good luck in their noble quest to continue researching this most important of areas. The results from AWARE phase I, as well as shedding light on the difficulties of performing high quality scientific research on NDEs, have also validated the incidence of NDE (~10% of survivors) and OBE (~25% of NDEs) from earlier studies. This, along with the semi-validated OBE from AWARE I, provides further circumstantial evidence of the validity of these phenomena…my hope is that it will not to be long before this group, or others, provide incontrovertible evidence. If they do, you can be sure you will hear about it here. In the mean time I will continue to examine the implications of other emerging research on NDEs, and post any relevant insights from time to time on this blog.


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6 thoughts on “Phase II of the AWARE study announced

  1. Bob Askew on said:

    Sam and his professional colleagues engaged in this research are to be commended for ‘going where no one has gone before’ and against the habitualised cynicism of their peers and colleagues. It may take another decade or two but when/if the evidence of non-local consciousness is verified beyond all reasonable doubt, it will mean that humanity has to review its world view and interaction in all regards.


  2. Eric Matthew on said:

    I agree with the ‘blinding’. IMO, the best way to deal with confirmation bias may be to ensure that only the lead researchers are aware of the content of the signs. The focus of the other personnel should be to gather the information from the patients.


  3. Actually even the lead investigator should not know the content. A seprate group should responsible for content.


    • Eric Matthew on said:

      Perhaps a committee of some sort? If there is a concern with the leads, then the best path may be to make sure that the data is analyzed by several experts. That way the results would also be more solid when confronted by hardcore skeptics, drastically reducing the possibility of statistical manipulation.


      • Either that, or maybe one group responsible for selection and placement of targets, another for conducting the interviews and recording observations, and a third who correlates any reports of target sightings with the data from the group that places them.


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